Ovarian Cyst Removal—Open Surgery
by Editorial Staff and Contributors
Ovarian cyst removal is surgery to remove a cyst or cysts from one or both of your ovaries. An open surgery requires an incision large enough that the doctor can see the cyst and surrounding tissue. It may be done instead of a laparoscopic surgery if the cyst is large, there are many cysts, or complications develop during a laparoscopic surgery.
Reasons for Procedure TOP
An ovarian cyst may need to be removed if it is:
Possible Complications TOP
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an ovarian cyst removed, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
Talk to your doctor about what action should be taken if cancer is found during surgery. One option is to remove the ovary.
Leading up to the surgery:
Description of the Procedure TOP
The doctor will make a cut in the abdomen. The abdominal muscles will be separated, and the abdomen will be opened. The doctor will locate, clamp, and tie the blood vessels that supply the ovary. (Note: This step is not always needed.)
Next, the cyst will be removed. In some cases, the doctor will also remove a sample of tissue for testing. If cancer is found, one or both ovaries (if cysts are on both ovaries) may be removed. Lastly, the doctor will use stitches to sew the abdominal muscles. The incision area will be closed with stitches or staples.
Immediately After Procedure TOP
After the procedure, you will be given IV fluids and medicines while recovering.
How Long Will It Take? TOP
Will It Hurt? TOP
You will have abdominal pain and discomfort for 7-10 days. Your doctor will give you pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay TOP
Post-procedure Care TOP
Recovery may take 3-4 weeks. When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
Call Your Doctor TOP
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Uterine Fibroids Foundation
Women's Health Matters
Ovarian cysts. Mayo Clinic website. Available at:
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Updated July 20, 2007. Accessed June 10, 2008.
Ovarian tumors. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 2010. Accessed November 12, 2010.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Last Updated: 1/15/2014